If you like gardening and have a dog you’ve probably at some point wondered is mulch safe for dogs? This is an absolutely valid question! We want our dogs to be healthy and safe. We do not want to harm them in any way, shape, or form.
As dog owners, we have to ask questions that other people probably would never think of asking. For example, questions like can dogs have jalapenos, how much chicken and rice to feed dog, or can dogs eat pretzels are all completely normal!
In this article, we’re going to answer another important question. That’s the question of is mulch safe for dogs. We are also going to explain what mulch is (for the ones that do not know), and if there are any dangers of using mulch in your garden when you own a dog.
Before we start you can check out our other very informative and useful articles on different topics:
- Can You Put Lotion On Dogs?
- When do puppies calm down?
- How many puppies do French Bulldogs have?
- Why Do Dogs Shake Their Heads?
- How Do I Know If My Puppy Will Survive Parvo?
- Why Is My Female Dog’s Private Area Swollen
- Can dogs eat salmon? Is it really safe?
Is mulch safe for dogs?
Before we answer that question we first need to explain what mulch even is! Basically, mulch is any material that you spread or lay over the surface of the soil as a covering.
But why do we use mulch in the first place? Well, we use mulch to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool, prevent frost heaving in winter, and make the garden bed look more attractive.
Now, the issue with mulch is that there are many different types of it, the main division being organic, and synthetic and inorganic mulch.
But which of these is safe for dogs?
Mulch that is safe for dogs
Given that there are many types of mulch, this makes answering the question is mulch safe for dogs a little bit more difficult.
Mulch that is safe for dogs:
- Wood-based mulch – Basically any wood-based mulch is safe for your pooch. However, pine, cedar, and cypress are probably the three of the most popular dog-friendly options.
- Any untreated wood mulch – Besides the bove mentioned types of mulch, any untreated wood mulch is also safe for your canine. You want to avoid any mulch that is dyed and treated with chemicals. They are not good for the environment and they are definitely not good for your dog!
- Rubber mulch – Rubber mulch is our third recomendation. This kind of mulch just like the name suggests, is made out of rubber and it’s a bit cheaper. But not just any kind of rubber. It’s made of cycled tires, which makes it a very durable option that can last you for many, many years. Now you might be wondering “how is rubber safe for my dog?” Well, unlike wood mulch rubber doesn’t have that sweet smell to it. This means your dog is less likely to try and eat it! However, we do need to add a little disclaimer here. The wood based mulch if ingested can also easily digested. Which is not the case with rubber mulch. Your dog will be at risk of gastrointestinal obstruction if they ingest rubber mulch. So, there are definitely better options out there.
Which mulch to avoid
The answer to the question is mulch safe for dogs is it depends on which mulch you get. Above we have told you what kind of mulch is safe for dogs. Now let’s take a look at what kinds of mulch are definitely not recommended for dog owner’s to purchase and that is not safe for dogs.
- Cocoa bean mulch – If you ask experts which kind of mulch is the most dangerous for dogs all of them will tell you cocoa bean mulch! The main reason for thisis that cocoa bean mulch is made out of cocoa shells. This means that cocoa mulch contains theobromine, a toxin that is very, very dangerous for your dog.
- Pine needle mulch – This kind of mulch is very dangerous if ingested. Basically, it’s super harmful for your dog is he or she swallows it. The reason for this is that pine needle mulch can damage the stomach lining of your pet.
If you suspect your dog ingested any of the toxic kinds of mulch you want to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible and also lookout for the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea and abdominal pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle tremors
- In some, severe cases, even death is possible
It’s also important to state that symptoms of mulch poisoning usually appear within 6 to 12 hours.